[Top 10] Atomic Heart Gameplay Features

A good game has good features, and Atomic Heart has plenty of them

Atomic Heart is an exciting shooter that came out earlier in January. But it’s a lot more than just a shooter. It’s an interesting mix. Depending on what you like, you might or might not enjoy it. 

The game has a lot of parallels to other popular games. You will find interesting and unique environments like in Bioshock and Prey. The frantic gunplay and robotic enemies might remind you of Wolfenstein. Like Bioshock again and Dishonored, there are powers at your disposal. And to survive, you’ll have to manage your resources like Resident Evil.

You might be worried, thinking that it tries to be too many things. The good news is that it only borrows certain elements. The game isn’t perfect, but whatever it gets right, it does it really well. And in this list, I’m going to highlight the best features.


10. Solid Gunplay

Let’s get the most basic feature out of the way. Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter. So obviously it would need to have good gunplay mechanisms. Thankfully, the foundation is solid. 

In Atomic Heart, guns are powerful tools that you will have to use selectively, because ammo is scarce. But when you get to use them, they are satisfying! The feedback and recoil are good, especially when using some of the heavier weapons. And while I know next to nothing about real guns, the animations look pretty nice!

If I were to be nitpicky, I would have one complaint. And it would be a very minor one. As fun as the guns are, they don’t sound that great. Most of them sound pretty muted, and it’s even more disappointing when you use energy weapons.


9. Weapon Variety

Good gunplay is essential, but it can only go so far without variety. Games like Call of Duty give you a lot of cool weapons with different stats. But when the setting is Science Fiction, the pressure is higher. The weapons have to reflect the setting of the game.

Atomic Heart gives you the regular stuff like pistols and your AKs. But you’ll also get some pretty energy weapons. One of the first ones you find is the Electro, which is a very handy and versatile weapon. It fires an energy pulse which is effective against almost every enemy.

And the weapons aren’t only limited to guns. You actually have a good arsenal of hefty, melee weapons to choose from! You won’t find anything out of the box, like a Gravity Gun or something. But some of them are fun and wacky.


8. Minigames & Puzzles

Hear me out before you start judging me! I know that mini-games tend to be annoying in games. We all remember the hacking minigames of Bioshock or Deus Ex, right? And the lockpicking games from Oblivion?

But I actually like the ones in Atomic Heart. I swear I’m not weird. And yeah, there are a fair share of them. But personally, they weren’t difficult or frustrating enough to become annoying. And there’s some variety to keep it from becoming too repetitive.

You’ll find the usual lockpicking minigame that’s present in the modern Fallout Games. And then there are some alternative minigames that make you solve a rhythm puzzle. They’re annoying at first, but once you get a hang of it, they’re fairly easy to solve. 

There are some laser puzzles. You’ll have to match the color of lasers to solve them. Simple enough, right? The only ones I’d call difficult are the ones that make you match a pattern. And the only way to open those is finding the code. Or you could brute force it, I guess.


7. Polymer Glove Powers

Your character wears a special glove on his left hand. It’s called the Polymer Glove, and it has a lot of functionalities. Half of that is talking to you like a smartass. The other half is letting you use special abilities.

Once again, you might see the similarities to Dishonored or Bioshock. Weapons on one hand, powers on the other. While I won't argue with that, they are a little different. You have up to three buttons for powers, of which two are bindable.

Speaking of powers, the game gives you a large variety of powers to choose from. Shok power is the first you get and it's always equipped. After that, you can unlock and use them at your own pace. It's a nice use of player agency that I appreciate.


6. Crafting & Upgrades

These days, RPG Mechanisms are a staple in video games. So to see yet another game with this isn’t surprising. But hold your horses before you jump in and judge!

On one hand, you have the skill system. It has a variety of mundane but useful things. Like a perk that lets you deal more damage. And then you have the ones that make things more interesting. You also use this menu to unlock new powers.

The crafting system isn’t different from other ones. You find stuff with which you can make stuff. But to make new weapons, you will need to find blueprints and use them. This encourages both exploration and usage of this system. And ammo is scarce, so you’ll need to craft them early on.


5. Melee Combat

Unlike your average FPS, Atomic Heart will have you engage in a lot of melee combat. And I don’t mean the occasional stab you have to perform in Call Of Duty. You start the game with the basic ax and it’s your only option for a while.

Even when you get weapons, ammo is scarce and you have to conserve. You can craft ammo, but even the resources aren’t plentiful. So you’ll be swinging those melee weapons a lot! And I enjoyed it quite a bit!

The weapons all have light and charged, heavy attacks. You have a decent variety of one-handed and two-handed weapons to choose from. And they’re distinct enough to inspire different playstyles. And even then, all weapons have various upgrade paths that could change how their heavy attacks function.


4. Setting, Worldspace & Levels

You might say that the setting isn’t a gameplay feature, but I will heavily disagree. A good game uses its setting to inform the gameplay features. Atomic Heart takes place in an alternate 1950 Soviet Union, and you can see it everywhere. The enemies you fight, the weapons you use.

The entirety of the game takes place in Facility 3826, where the robots have become crazy murder machines. This is a research lab, so every section has its own thing going on. Lots of experimental things and areas for you to explore.

While the game is pretty large, you shouldn’t expect an open world. Neither should you expect an Arkane style game with lots of avenues of approach. It’s an action-survival game, first and foremost. So the game’s setting primarily influences those aspects of the game.


3. Dashing Dodge

When you play your average FPS, dodging isn’t something you do. Even in other action heavy titles like Dishonored, dodging isn’t something you do. But Atomic Heart is anything but typical. There’s a dodge button, and it’s pretty important.

Almost all enemy types will engage you in physical combat. Even the ones that don’t will throw stuff at you. And they all deal a lot of damage. Even in the easiest difficulty, they can take you out if you’re not careful. The game is designed with dodging in mind.

Combat isn’t the only application. There are several acrobatic sections that require jumping and climbing. And you guessed it! You can use this ability to make larger leaps!


2. Enemies & Bosses

Every enemy type in the game are basically scientific monstrosities. Most of them are typical robots that will cut you down or shoot you. Or you might run into something more creative and organic in nature. Or worse. Regardless of what you face, you will have to fight and kill them all.

No matter what you face, they all have the potential to be deadly. Enemies have their weaknesses and resistances, so scanning them and remembering strategies is essential. And while they can be bullet sponges, it makes them enough of a challenge for you to solve.

And all of this applies to bosses as well. Most of them will be monsters with a lot of health and firepower. They’re all different and have interesting designs. From mutated plant-like things to robot ballerinas. The best thing is that they have believable in-world roles.


1. Fast Looting

As games get more realistic, they tend to make some aspects even more boring. Like looting in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s a minor thing in the grand scheme. But I was screaming every time Arthur slowly opened the drawers. 

Not here though. Looting is a chore, and Atomic Heart is here to fix it. Your Polymer Glove takes care of this by using tiny tendrils that sort through and stow anything and everything. It’s fast and satisfying!

It’s almost like the game is rebelling against modern trends. But that’s only one part of why I love it. This ties in with a previous point, but it makes use of the setting. The Polymer Glove is something that exists, and this utility extends the usage. This is the right way to do worldbuilding in games.


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A prolific and published author with a fervor for gaming, I have decided to dedicate myself to these two bring in a way that inspire passion and desires to learn and explore in others.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Dishonored
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Assassin's Creed 2 , Dishonored

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